Vidarbha thermal power station

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Vidarbha thermal power station is a 1320-megawatt (MW) power station under construction, comprising two subcritical units of 660 MW each. The plant, which is sponsored by Lanco, is located near Mandva, Wardha District, Maharastra state, India.[1]

Location

The undated satellite photo below shows the location of the construction site, which is 2 km east of the village of Mandva (or Mandwa) and 6 km northwest of Wardha, in Maharashtra. According to the company's environmental submittals, the boundaries of the site are 20.812389 to 20.829833 (north) latitude and 78.465750 to 78.506750 (east) longitude.[2]

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Background

A July 2012 Lanco investor presentation reported: "TG deck of unit 1 completed."[3] According to the Central Electricity Authority (September 2012), Unit 1 will be commissioned in April 2014 and Unit 2 will be commissioned in August 2014.[4]

Opposition

A court petition filed by four farmers against the Environmental Clearance challenged the validity of the hearing that took place on September 17, 2010. According to the court documents, about 5,000 villagers attended the hearing, which "was vitiated by ruckus since the Regional Officer, MPCB did not hear all the villagers ... the respondents used muscle power against the poor villagers; the Police Officers present at the hearing openly threatened the villagers and directed not to speak against the project ... the public hearing was abruptly closed after goons hired by the respondents created ruckus and villagers were brutally beaten." The company denied the allegations.[5]

In response to the petition, the court ordered a new hearing, which took place in June 2012. According to an account in The Times of India, the new hearing was "stage-managed, with only families of those employed by the plant saying yes" to the project. Manoj Manwatkar, son of one of the petitioners, complained, "This is an eye wash as 30% of the project has been completed. Work should be stopped till the Supreme Court decides the petition to cancel environment clearance filed by four affected farmers from Pulai. The public hearing should also be termed null and void."[6]

The Times of India article reported further:[6]

Dr Vibha Gupta, chairperson of Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti (MSS), Wardha, said temperatures of Wardha have already crossed 47 degrees. Power units would mean disaster. "These units are taking away our land and water, and in return giving us ash. Lanco will take away a lot of water, even as Wardha residents get drinking water every alternate day. The unit will also pollute rivers supplying water to Wardha," Gupta said.
Many farmers criticized the company officials for making fake promises. Sandeep Pakhide said Lanco was to plant 1.75 lakh trees in four years but it has planted not more than a 1,000 trees. Also, most of the saplings have died. He wanted the plant to use the best technology to curb pollution.
Power sector expert Sudhir Paliwal said Lanco is making tall claims about benefiting several villages, but there are 84 villages in the 10-12km radius around the plant. "What about the welfare of these villages?" he asked.

Project Details

Sponsor: Lanco
Location: 2 km east of the village of Mandva (or Mandwa) and 6 km northwest of Wardha city, in Wardha District, Maharastra state, India
Coordinates: 20.8217523, 78.4900188
Status: Construction
Nameplate capacity: 1320 MW
Type:
Projected in service: 2014
Coal Type: domestic[1]
Coal Source: SECL[1]
Estimated annual CO2:
Source of financing:
Public hearing: "Minutes of Environmental Public Hearing in respect of proposed M/s. Lanco Vidarbha Thermal Power Ltd. 1320MW (660x2) Coal Based Thermal Power Project at Village Mandwa, Pulai & Belgaon, Tq.Dist. Wardha," Ministry of Environment and Forests, September 17, 2010

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